Wednesday October 04, 2023

Prestigious math prize awarded in Finland

Published : 06 Jul 2022, 19:42

  DF News Desk
President Sauli Niinistö was addressing the award ceremony. Photo: President Office.

Four young mathematicians aged under 40 were awarded the Fields Medals, the world's most prestigious mathematics prize, Tuesday at Aalto University in the Finnish capital Helsinki, reported Xinhua.

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) awarded the prize to Hugo Duminil-Copin of the University of Geneva and the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES), June Huh of Princeton University, James Maynard of the University of Oxford, and Maryna Viazovska of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL).

The Ukrainian Viazovska is the second woman ever to win the Fields Medal.

Addressing the award ceremony, President Sauli Niinistö underlined the role of mathematicians as a force for change. While progress in other sciences often corrects earlier results, "mathematicians expand previous achievements, but seldom have to abandon previous theories," he said.

Niinistö noted that Finland has done well in mathematics as Finns are a people with curious minds. Math teachers in Finland have for generations been encouraged to ask the right questions.

According to national broadcaster Yle, Finnish mathematician Lars Ahlfors won the Fields Medal at its first award ceremony in 1936.

The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to mathematicians under age 40. It is regarded as one of the highest honors for a mathematician and has been described as the Nobel Prize of Mathematics.